Your Monthly Potted Color Palette - Got Pink?

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My Desert Garden Pinks Must be BOLD
  • The Potted Desert
  • My Desert Garden Pinks Must be BOLD

I have to admit. I have a resistance to pink. I am not sure why — maybe because I had a pink bedroom growing up. Pepto-BismolTM pink that is. Now I am sure it was my choice, maybe? Well — maybe not since I must have been very young. I do remember when I was given a choice of room color, it was a soft green. Go figure!! Green — gardening — was my color choice directing my future path?

As I came into my own with designing flower gardens for our desert landscape, I had similar negative reactions to pinks in the garden. And I absolutely abhorred pink with orange to the point that I told my staff — never, never put pink near orange. That was one of those rules!!

Then, one day… I saw a rich fuchsia (pink) bougainvillea as a backdrop to some gorgeous orange lantana. At first, I was resistant and then it struck me — I liked it! So I started experimenting in the nursery putting together some different pinks, oranges, purples or blues and reds to see what I liked. I came up with what you might call jewel tones — a rich, deep pink, an orange with a red hue and a deep red. A touch of purple or blue seemed to support the other colors.

I even planted my “pass by every day” pots at my own home with these colors. And each time I saw the combination out the window or from the patio, it took me a moment to stop my pink and orange resistance but I soon became hooked by the colors.

Lessons to be learned from this?
1. Experiment with plant and color combinations at the nursery.
2. Try things that you might not normally combine — well, at least in your clothing choices!
3. Keep it simple with how many colors you put together in one pot. Combine and repeat.
4. Enjoy playing with color!

Marylee is the founder and former owner of Tucson’s The Contained Gardener. With more than 15 years of successfully designing and growing potted gardens in the desert’s challenging and oftentimes harsh climate, Marylee has become known as the Desert’s Potted Garden Expert. Marylee is available for in-home or digital consultations and you can always email her with your questions and comments. Follow The Potted Desert on Facebook!

This week in your desert potted garden:
1. Deadhead your flowers this week. Be sure to cut them back to the main stem when removing spent flowers.
2. Prune any leggy plants to create new growth and a well-shaped plant.
3. Feed your potted plants a water soluble fertilizer.
4. Follow the directions on the label. I prefer using a hose applicator to get thorough feeding.